The Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills this weekend, with both teams trying to keep any playoff hopes alive. For the Dolphins, who started the year 0-7, the playoffs are a pipe-dream, that both the players and the fans are hoping to some how miraculously have come true. But, for the Bills, the playoffs should be a real possibility.
Buffalo started the year 3-0. falling to 4-2 at their bye week. The team was battling the New England Patriots and New York Jets for the AFC East division lead. Now, the Bills sit at 5-4. losing their last two, and trying to get a grasp on the season before it all slips away.
When I talked with Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings earlier this week, we discussed the Bills' playoff chances.
"Now that New England is rolling and has swept the Jets, I don't see how the Bills win the division," Galliford told me. "That's out of the picture. I don't see them splitting with the Jets, either, considering how well the Jets match up with them, and how easily Gailey's teams have been manhandled by Ryan's in the past two seasons. I suppose it's possible for the team to compete for the sixth and final playoff seed, but looking at the teams in the AFC North, I don't see that happening, either."
So, according to Galliford, the Bills may already be out of the playoff hunt, despite having a winning record through nine games, and sitting in second place in the AFC East. If the playoffs really are out of the reach of Buffalo, what does Galliford realistically expect from his favorite team?
"My expectations for them are to stop playing crappy football and to win as many games as they can," Galliford explained. "It'd be nice if they figured out what they have in some of their younger players, as well."
Talk about teams, and fans, in two completely different mindsets. The Bills are 5-4 in the year, but the fans are ready to give in and let the team explore their young players. Meanwhile, the Miami players and fans are seriously discussing making a run at the playoffs. And the team is sitting at 2-7.
It's amazing what a couple of wins or losses can do to a fan base's confidence in their team. Either way, the winner of today's game will be one step closer to the playoff chase, while the loser may very well be out of contention.